Local Law 26 of 2004 established many retroactive requirements for office buildings and other business occupancies above certain height thresholds. Some requirements focused on relatively simple upgrades for exit signs and their backup power supplies, with short-term deadlines established for 2006 and 2007. However, one requirement was particularly demanding: office buildings and other business occupancies at least 100 feet tall must be fully protected by a sprinkler system.
When property owners are considering upgrades for their HVAC systems, plenty of attention is given to energy savings. However, providing healthy conditions for occupants is also very important. There is a common misconception that indoor air quality costs extra energy, but you can achieve both efficiency and air quality with the right design choices.
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Radiant heating systems deliver heat through the floor, walls or ceiling of a building. As implied by their name, these systems rely mostly on radiant heat transfer - direct delivery of heat from a warm surface to occupants and objects via radiation.
Heat load calculation is a fundamental skill for HVAC designers and consultants. Consider that space cooling is among the highest energy expenses in buildings, especially during the summer. However, to properly size a space cooling system, first we must know the amount of heat that must be removed - this is precisely the purpose of heat load calculation.
Electricity is one of the cornerstones of modern society, but it can be very dangerous if handled incorrectly. Therefore, governments have introduced stringent codes to regulate its use and ensure safety for occupants. A building’s power supply must be safe to use, and it must also have the voltage and frequency required by the electrical appliances in the building. The systems that provide electrical safety and power quality are typically hidden from sight, but they play a fundamental role in buildings.
Since HVAC systems involve plenty of moving components, it is normal to have some vibration and noise, even in a correctly installed and well-maintained system. However, excessive vibration and noise indicate that an installation should be serviced, and they can also lead to other performance issues.
Lighting is one of the largest loads in New York City buildings, accounting for 11% of energy consumption in buildings that benchmark their energy and water use per Local Law 84. Energy audits have revealed that many lighting systems in NYC are still old, especially in the multifamily residential sector. Therefore, upgrading to LED lighting is a very promising energy efficiency measure for many properties in the city.
The ENERGY STAR program, managed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, has been very effective in helping homes and businesses reduce their energy use and environmental footprint. Implementing energy efficiency in a large organization represents a significant management challenge, so the US EPA has provided guidelines to simplify the process, broken down into seven steps.
ENERGY STAR is a program developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency to help homes and businesses improve their energy efficiency, thus reducing their energy bills and environmental footprint. However, although we commonly associate the blue ENERGY STAR label with energy-saving products, it is also possible to get the certification for buildings that show exceptional energy performance.
Local Law 26 of 2004 was created to improve the fire mitigation capabilities of NYC buildings, and to allow safe evacuation during an emergency. The law outlines many requirements, but perhaps the most demanding is to install an automatic sprinkler system for all buildings with a height of at least 100 ft and classified as Business Group E as of 2004 (business occupancies are now called Group B). All buildings covered by LL26 must have a functional automatic sprinkler system and a certification of compliance by July 1, 2019.